Fauntleroy Way road work: SDOT says it’ll be done mid-September

(Fauntleroy/Juneau photo taken last week by Chas Redmond)
Just in from Marybeth Turner at SDOT:

We are happy to announce that final paving on Fauntleroy starts tomorrow!

The project has progressed nicely. Our contractor, Gary Merlino, will begin the final overlay tomorrow and expects to complete the work by Friday night. Traffic will be shifted several times throughout the day but uniformed police officers will be on site to assist traffic. We expect work to continue into the PM peak hour as crews work long days in an attempt to complete all the paving before the weekend.

Shortly after the final overlay is completed, the contractor will begin striping the roadway with the new “channelization” (lane line configuration). Barrels and caution tape will remain in place until all of the striping is completed. During the same time, the contractor will take care of the finishing details and cleanup work.

Work is expected to wrap up in mid-September. We thank everyone in advance for their patience.

Here’s how the road will be configured after the work is done:

45 Replies to "Fauntleroy Way road work: SDOT says it'll be done mid-September"

  • graysongirl August 26, 2009 (4:23 pm)

    So, does this mean the travel lanes for cars go down to one lane each way on Fauntleroy? I just need to know for purposes of navigating and whether to avoid this area during high peak times.

  • tom August 26, 2009 (4:26 pm)

    @graysongirl that’s how I read it.

  • WSB August 26, 2009 (4:43 pm)

    Yes, as explained in meetings and briefings during our earlier coverage of this project, what you see above is what the result will be. One lane of traffic each way, a center turn lane for the entire stretch – which does NOT exist now – a bicycle lane – and parking – TR

  • Under_Achiever August 26, 2009 (5:25 pm)

    I remain skeptical that the new lane configurations will be have a positive affect on Fauntleroy traffic flow. Not to be selfish but one would think bicycles are less that 1/10 of 1% of the total traffic/people flow on this arterial.
    That is the goal, right? Positive affect? I mean, why would the City want to make traffic flow worse?

  • MAS August 26, 2009 (5:26 pm)

    One final effort to reduce capacity by our mayor (and he planning teams) I’m not going to miss the astounding lack of foresight in the executive.

  • JRW August 26, 2009 (5:45 pm)

    I agree with Under_Achiever completely! As a resident on Fauntleroy the traffic (especially during peak ferry times) is pretty crazy with 2 lanes each way…now it’ll be down to one? I rarely see people taking left turns thus not really needing the big center turn lane. I’m all for supporting bikers out there, but I’m not for looking out on my deck at a parade of slow moving cars trying to make a ferry as a result.
    Just my 2 cents…

  • johnson August 26, 2009 (6:21 pm)

    Bikers don’t care what you want, & the city under Nickels clearly has no concern for flow of traffic.

    they all just want to make car travel as miserable as possible. That way we’re all one step closer to making the W. Seattle Bridge a “pedestrian only” way.

    remember, vote for McGinn — he’ll outlaw the devils wagon in all of Seattle, that’ll show’em.

  • Sue August 26, 2009 (6:29 pm)

    In case no one has noticed, Fauntleroy has BEEN 1 lane in each direction for a while now due to construction. There are no major backups unless a bus has stopped (as there is currently no curb lane northbound for it to pull into) or if active construction is going on that blocks it, or if someone is turning left (since there is no turn lane yet). At least none that I’ve seen from my window that looks out onto Fauntleroy, nor my experience while taking the bus, or waiting at the bus stop during morning rush hour and watching traffic.

  • mamatimes3 August 26, 2009 (6:44 pm)

    I live on Fauntleroy between Morgan and Holly and have noticed a HUGE increase in traffic approaching the Morgan intersection going North. Lots of idling cars. Let’s hope it’s just due to the signal changes in effect for the construction and not a permanent part of life here. We’ve also noticed an increase in the reverberations from bus and other large vehicle traffic. My son woke up the other night frightened to hear footsteps in our house, but it was just the passing traffic making our house bounce. Yuck. Could it be the way they paved it or something else?

  • Smitty August 26, 2009 (6:52 pm)

    So when someone parallel parks it will stop all the cars behind them until the fit into their little spot? Can you just “swerve” into the middle turn lane if that is happening in order to keep traffic moving?

    This should be interesting as lots of people park along Fauntleroy.

  • Sue August 26, 2009 (7:00 pm)

    Smitty, why couldn’t you pass someone in the turn lane when someone’s parking? It’s done on California all the time. Besides, with the previous 2 lane configuration, anyone in the right lane is right along the parking lane and would’ve had the same issue – you’d either wait or go into the other lane. No real difference with the new configuration, I would imagine.

  • Matt Durham August 26, 2009 (8:04 pm)

    I’m an avid bicyclist and appreciate the dedicated bike lanes.
    I would like to see more lane reductions for more bicycle use.
    I would also like to see more lane reductions for dedicated mass transit.
    On the other hand, I understand the argument against tax dollars diverted to dedicated bike lanes when you see cyclists slowing traffic and increasing life safety hazards along Alki Ave and Harbor Ave. I strikes me as both inconsiderate and short-sighted when bicyclists will risk a door opening into them or a travel amongst moving vehicles while an expensive and well designed bike lane parallels the street.

  • Melissa August 26, 2009 (8:19 pm)

    As someone who’s trying to commute by bike to work from south West Seattle but finding the options incredibly limited (35th?? Fauntleroy under construction?), I’m thrilled that I might be able to ride to work safely (at least through West Seattle). If we make roads safer for bikes, more people will ride. That would be better for all of us.

  • Smitty August 26, 2009 (8:31 pm)

    Sue, I hope you are right.

    The difference in the Fauntleroy case is volume and the incresed chance that someone heading toward you could be planning on using the turn lane to actually turn…..we shall see how this does (or does not) work.

    My hunch is that people will be hesitant to use the center turn lane as a “passing lane” while waiting for people to parallel park. Throw in the occasional biker actually using the bike lane and it adds an entirely new wrinkle. I hope it works though.

  • kstineback August 26, 2009 (8:33 pm)

    I agree Melissa! I have been waiting all summer for Fauntleroy to have a bike lane, 35th is a highway and Delridge, as we all know since last week, is crazy dangerous. It is nice to see the good old bikes vs. autos debate here again!

  • Bikejuju August 26, 2009 (9:18 pm)

    Nice, civil debate. Three cheers for the WSB.

    In these conversations I always wonder why we seem to take it for granted that there ought to be parking all the way up both sides of an urban arterial street like this? Or sidewalks just for pedestrians?

    We debate it like it’s bikes versus car traffic competing for that public roadway right-of-way space, but really if you look at the whole public space, it is moving cars sharing with bikes sharing with parked cars (two whole lanes of them) sharing with pedestrians (two whole sidewalk ‘lanes’ of them) sharing with trees (parking strips on both sides). That’s a REALLY wide public thoroughfare with plenty of space for other configurations.

    The new layout the city has opted for is what passes for “progressive” urban roadway design in America, but the are a lot of assumptions built into it that are worth questioning (why do we put bikes in the door lane instead of having them share the pedestrian space? Why do we so prize the parking strips? Etc).

    My least favorite thing about this design is the bike lane in the car door zone, and the expectation this creates in drivers that cyclists ought to “stay in their lane,” where we are in mortal danger (car doors are the #3 cause of bike accidents). It’s legal to ride in the car lane or on the sidewalk even when a bike lane has been painted. And safer.

  • JumboJim August 26, 2009 (9:27 pm)

    I highly doubt that it is legal to use the center, two-way turn lane to pass traffic either stopped or slowing to park. If you were stopped behind a car and used the lane when it was clear that is one thing but to do so at normal road speed while passing a parking car seems like a bad idea.

    BTW, when did drivers decide it was okay to swerve into the oncoming lane to go around a parking or turning vehicle, or commonly a bus sticking out at its stop. I have people coming head-on into my lane of traffic all the time, expecting the oncoming traffic to just move over for them since they are in such a big rush. This maneuver is usually done at full road speed and just seems so dangerous that I can’t believe how many cars on the road are doing it. Is it that impossible to stop for a moment??

  • Citizen Sane August 26, 2009 (9:27 pm)

    I agree with Bikejuju – WS types, please take a bow and pat each other on the back for a civil debate; you rock! Would that the health care town meetings could also be populated by adults.

    Sorry for the group hug — the F-Way issue is complex, and the only consul I can issue is let’s see how it plays out. In a worst case scenario, the same square footage of asphalt is there, we can go to status quo ante if it doesn’t work out, yes?

  • coffee August 26, 2009 (9:56 pm)

    As a person who would like to start biking in west seattle, I am really excited about this new configuration. In addition, having a business on Fauntleroy I am REALLY EXCITED about this new configuration. Fauntleroy is a mess, and now with the construction its worse. This is going to get me, but the ferry traffic people are completely inconsiderate towards the traffic in West Seattle. They roll off the ferry and speed down Fauntleroy with no regards to the local traffic and people. Just yesterday I had a lady ride me and I mean 2 feet at the most off of my bumper because, gasp, I was going 20 due to the fact that there were flaggers with signs saying slow. I am not sure what her defination of slow was, but I was so mad I kept up the slow pace until I got through the construction.

  • WSM August 27, 2009 (12:11 am)

    What kills me is the patchwork of old pavement, new concrete, and new asphalt. Seriously, for the millions spent on this project, it’s going to look terrible.

  • OP August 27, 2009 (12:16 am)

    What kills me is the patchwork of old pavement, new concrete, and new asphalt. Seriously, for the millions spent on this project, it’s going to look terrible.

    WSM, I’m fairly certain SDOT is going blacktop all the way. It would look awfully stupid with a big black lane going down the middle. And even if they did just leave it “as is”, would anyone be surprised???? LOL

  • WSB August 27, 2009 (12:23 am)

    Yes – the re-topping of the road is the last phase, then the markings. Memory-refresher:

  • bill August 27, 2009 (6:36 am)

    I wonder how long before there are chunks of asphalt ripped up at the seam with the concrete in the westbound lane… and it is no fun driving with one half on one surface and the other side on a surface a little higher or lower, or rutted differently.

    I love how bikejuju mentions the walking lanes and the tree lanes in this public transportation bit. I don’t hear drivers complain about that space not used for carbon-emitting vehicles.

    And why do we place a higher priority on 1 person cargo carriers (autos with folks headed to work) vs. other modes, and defend them because they move faster than other modes? Is it because they are comfy and have a nice radio?

  • Sarah August 27, 2009 (7:47 am)

    I don’t understand why there is a bike lane in one direction, and a sharrow in the other. Anyone understand this?

  • Al August 27, 2009 (8:30 am)

    SDOT does the one bike lane, usually uphill for a dedicated climbing lane, and a sharrow downhill – since it’s assumed bicylists will be travelling at a more rapid pace and will have an easier time keeping up with/riding with traffic. It’s typically done on more “narrow roads” in which there’s not room for two bike lanes.

    IMHO: I repeatedly told SDOT and SBAB (Seattle Bike Advisory Board) that this stretch of Fauntleroy is essentially flat except near California Ave. so the “hill” argument (which is what they repeatedly used as the reason) didn’t fly. They didn’t want to remove parking, period, for fear of community backlash (this was mentioned at one of the SBAB meetings). This will be an interesting configuration for weekday bicycle commuters in that there’s generally lighter traffic in the morning and heavier traffic in the afternoons. I proposed that the bike lane be added southbound and sharrows northbound for that reason to no avail. Good luck sharing that lane southbound! Hopefully those sharrows will be placed where they are supposed to be, in the middle of the lane and not be used as a substitute for a bike lane.

  • John August 27, 2009 (8:40 am)

    So glad this project is moving along well! I’m all for the new lane configuration, but I’m wondering about the merge from Alaska that currently allows two lanes to turn left. Will this be reduced to one lane for turning, or will it merge down to one after you trun like it does now at the Shell station with the construction barrels?

  • cakeitseasy August 27, 2009 (8:42 am)

    “In these conversations I always wonder why we seem to take it for granted that there ought to be parking all the way up both sides of an urban arterial street like this? Or sidewalks just for pedestrians?” EXACTLY, bikejuju.

    Dedicated parking on both sides of an arterial just doesn’t make sense. I think the bike lanes should be as much out of the line of auto traffic as possible. At least one of the parking lanes could be/should be used for bikes, with some sort of barrier to protect them from the auto traffic flow. (and it would be nice if it was designed in an appealing way…trees? planters?)

    I for one don’t like the fact that California Ave south of the Morgan Junction has large, well defined parking lanes and the bikes are squeezed in with autos. Just doesn’t make sense on an arterial. Especially since that’s in an area with a majority of single family houses with driveways and no shops. Why is dedicated parking necessary in this area?Turnouts for the bus on Fauntleroy, as mentioned, would also make sense. If you limit parking and increase transit, we won’t be as dependent on our cars.

  • Marybeth Turner August 27, 2009 (9:47 am)

    In answer to John’s question, there will continue to be two southbound lanes turning left across Alaska Street. The merge will take place between Edmunds and Hudson streets. In the northbound direction, a second lane will be created between these same two streets thus the configuration at the Fauntleroy/Alaska intersection will be the same as it was before the project.

    Similarly at the California intersection, two northbound lanes (towards downtown) will cross California and the merge to one lane will take place in the vicinity of Morgan/42nd. Headed southbound (towards the ferry), the right most lane approaching California will be converted to a right turn only lane so only a single lane will be carried across the intersection.

    Marybeth Turner,
    Seattle Department of Transportation

  • dawsonct August 27, 2009 (11:10 am)

    Residents along Fauntleroy must be overjoyed that they will no longer be living along what was essentially a low-speed freeway.
    Sorry to all the people who think vast expanses of vehicle lanes are their constitutional right. Leave earlier.

  • Reg Morgan August 27, 2009 (11:34 am)

    It’s nice to know what’s going on in Fauntleroy after many, many years. My parents moved to 9302 46th S.W.(the corner of Brace Point and 46th S. W.) in 1935. Lived there for 20 years. Graduated from WSHS in 1950 and left Fauntleroy in 1955 to seek my fortune (hah!).
    Back in the 1940s and 50s the ferry traffic on a holiday was occasionally backed up to the lowest parking lot in Lincoln Park. There were two lanes of traffic on the dock:Vashon and Harper (today it’s Southworth).
    I read the on-line edition of the Times at least twice a day.One change that I have noticed is that at one time West Seattle began at Alki Point and ended at Roxbury Street which was also the county 1ine. Today it goes to…?
    Thanks for many pleasant memories.

  • John August 27, 2009 (12:19 pm)

    Thanks for the info Marybeth!

  • Teneighty August 27, 2009 (1:36 pm)

    As a very avid cyclist, commuting 300 plus days a year, you have never and will never catch me riding on Fauntleroy, even with the new bike <<<>>> lanes. 40th and 41st, just a bit to the west, are much better.

  • Melissa August 27, 2009 (5:44 pm)

    I support bike riding. It’s a good thing. But the reality is that people also need to drive vehicles and changing what is a vital and necessary road to get from the bridge to that part of WS, especially for ferry traffic (a vehicle ferry!) is just plain stupid! The assertion that simply having more or better bike lanes will cause more people to bike instead of drive is nonsensical. And even if it increased ridership to another 10-20 people, that doesn’t change the fact that thousands of drivers will be stuck in backups on this road, which is compounded by the fact that Seattle has absolutely no demonstrated ability to manage traffic signals and traffic flow. I’ve never driven in any other city that is so singularly awful at managing traffic flow. Like it or not, Fauntleroy is a major arterial road in and out of WS and diminishing the available road space for traffic while allowing the streets to be jammed with parked vehicles because Mr. Nickels wanted to promote overcrowding and allowed ridiculous numbers of townhomes to be jammed into single family neighborhoods demonstrates further just how little this city knows aboout managing traffic. The number of vehicles parked on Fauntleroy and its side streets has exploded in the last few years for no other reason than the horrible townhomes that blight the neighborhood. So, we allow more townhouses so the City can increase tax revenue while destroying neighborhoods, and then we get less available road space on major roads because everyone at the City has their fingers crossed that everyone will suddenly choose to start biking to work, even though there are no facilities except in the most high rent buildings (and are only accessible to the high rent suite tenants) downtown where people can change out of their sweaty, rain soaked biking clothes into office appropriate clothes in order to perform their professional job functions. Fantastic plan Seattle DOT! I have to stop writing now because I have to see if I can travel 10 blocks downtown in rush hour in less than one hour through lights timed to prevent the steady flow of traffic. More great planning there!

    And to dawsonct who thinks that those of us who drive cars and pay substantial portions of the DOT revenues through taxes on our cars and gas don’t have a right to complain when travel lanes are reduced to make way for parked cars and bikers who number SIGNIFICANTLY less than vehicle drivers – save it. We all share the roads and ALL of our needs should be considered, and guess what? In a democracy the majority dominates and last time I checked, people who drive still outnumber the bikers and that means that bikers’ needs and wants do not outnumber everyone else’s need to get to work in a professional condition. Perhaps if there were actually places where people could go to change and get cleaned up after biking in, or if you could pick up a bus in Pioneer Square at some time after 9 pm without taking your life into your hands, maybe more of us would be able to use the buses or bike in and reduce the number of vehicles on the road. But until that time comes (and given the way that Seattle is run that is very far off), those of us who cannot show up at work in bike shorts with sweaty disheveled hair have to drive to work and we deserve to have roads that serve our needs too.

  • GC August 27, 2009 (9:45 pm)

    Melissa has it right. We’ve all got to live here…and rather than inserting bicycles into the middle of a high traffic road just for the fun of it, re-routing them to one of the MANY under-utilized side-streets that keep relatively delicate bicyclists and much more durable vehicles…unless safety is less a consideration than increasing the risk and misery of operating the “devils wagon”.

  • Tony August 27, 2009 (11:00 pm)

    For those that comment that Fauntleroy has NOT seen an impact during this construction, must drive with blindfold. I come down Morgan from 35th and getting out onto Fauntleroy is near impossible during the construction. I often turn right and then make a u-turn further up the road in order to head toward the Fauntleroy Ferry.

    As for bicylist – you have a bike lane on this road. Obey the laws on this road and all other roads. Splitting lanes and riding through red lights should not be tolerated. If you want to be treated with respect and like the cars that drive on the roads in West Seattle and elsewhere, then obey the same laws.

  • WSB August 27, 2009 (11:08 pm)

    I’ve just been using 35th – instead of going downhill on California and turning right on Fauntleroy to head toward the Triangle or The Bridge – but it’s the construction slowdowns, not the lane reduction – I missed an event downtown a few weeks ago because I didn’t leave early enough and got stuck in a backup with a flagger at the paving site. We’ll certainly all watch closely to see what happens after the construction’s over and the rechannelized result debuts – TR

  • John August 27, 2009 (11:57 pm)

    It is just as easy to create designated bike routes along side streets than it is to constrict arterials for the benefit of cyclists.

  • austin August 28, 2009 (10:36 am)

    “Sorry to all the people who think vast expanses of vehicle lanes are their constitutional right. Leave earlier.”
    Some of the drivers’ comments in this thread are ridiculous. If you really want to live somewhere that car culture reigns supreme and there are enormous highways connecting one far flung destination to another, the suburban sprawl of the midwest might suit your lifestyle a little more closely.

  • SD August 28, 2009 (1:52 pm)

    I live on Fauntleroy near the Morgan Junction so I drive on it all the time. I for one am absolutely *thrilled* with anything that has the effect of slowing cars down on that road! So I’m very happy with the changes. Now if we could only get a safe place for pedestrians to cross the street between Findlay and California without risking our lives every time (e.g. how about a traffic light/crosswalk at Fauntleroy and Graham?).

  • Shante August 28, 2009 (3:36 pm)

    I am so confused. Only half of the street is paved at this point, yet they are supposedly finishing tonight. They intend to also pave the southbound lanes, correct?

  • WSB August 28, 2009 (3:40 pm)

    What looks like “paving” in the center is the rebuilding of that section with asphalt. The other sections of road, where rebuilt, were rebuilt with other materials. SDOT has explained that the whole thing will now be resurfaced, then restriped for the “rechannelization.” I was just down there and the equipment is definitely wrapping up for this week’s work – TR

  • The Hepcat August 28, 2009 (5:22 pm)

    Melissa, you couldn’t have stated your case more eloquently.

  • birdgeek August 29, 2009 (9:51 am)

    I think Melissa is confused. Yes, we share the road and all of our needs must be considered, that part I agree with. But then a contradiction: majority rules. Which one is it? A tyranny of cars leads to roads that are not neighborhood-friendly. And WS is a neighborhood… and I’m pretty sure most people who live here want to keep it that way. I shouldn’t even chime in on this, b/c the entire time I’ve lived in WS I’ve avoided Fauntleroy like the plague (as a motorist) b/c it’s a highway of harried ferry goers eager to get WS behind them (in either direction). It’s been a hateful road. Maybe this will slow people down, make the ferry goers plan ahead (Vashon is an awkward place to live if you want to work in downtown), and give the poor people who live along Fauntleroy a sense of a neighborhood again. I’m just sayin…

  • Sarah September 5, 2009 (8:22 am)

    Off topic, but I cannot help myself:

    “As for bicylist – you have a bike lane on this road. Obey the laws on this road and all other roads. Splitting lanes and riding through red lights should not be tolerated. If you want to be treated with respect and like the cars that drive on the roads in West Seattle and elsewhere, then obey the same laws.”

    I’m not a cyclist, but I think motorists are just as guilty of breaking the law (ie, flagrantly running stale yellow to red lights, not stopping for peds waiting to cross the street). As a driver and a pedestrian, I can’t tell you how many times every day I see people driving like jerks. Just take a drive across the WSF, or try and cross California on foot.

  • Mike September 8, 2009 (3:21 pm)

    Another vote for Melissa’s point of view. I would rather see more effort put into developing good alternate routes for bikes then trying to convert Fauntleroy into a bike-friendly street. A large majority of people drive on Fauntleroy to get to or from home, and reducing the capacity of this street will only increase the frustration and anger of people impacted by these changes. I doubt that any of them will start riding bicycles.

    Plenty of biker friends have told me that they avoid Fauntleroy in favor of better, alternate routes anyway. That seems like a good pragmatic approach, because it separates the slower more vulnerable bikes from the folks that simply want to get home to their families as quickly as possible.

    Responding to birdgeek, I don’t think Melissa is confused at all. She seems to favor a model where high volumes of traffic are consolidated into a single, high-capacity throughfare. You seem to think that it’s better to force all those people onto side streets and altnerate routes, thus causing a greater impact all around Fauntleroy. I lived on a side street in Fremont where a lot of traffic would over-flow off the main arterials; crossing the street or exiting a parallel parked car was something you did very carefully. I would be perfectly happy if all the tired, fast drivers stay on Fauntleroy

    The bikers posting here come across more as car-haters and fanatics than people trying to achieve the greatest common good. I would be more impressed if your efforts focused on solving the root causes of traffic and congestion; your current approach of sabotaging car commuters seems more self-righteous than helpful.

Sorry, comment time is over.